Saturday, March 23, 2013

Menu plan?

I'm starting to run low in the deep freeze. I need a plan for how I'm going to make it through the end of the month, or I might end up at the whataburger drive thru!
Saturday - corned beef brisket
Sunday -  creamy baked chicken taquitos; pizza
Monday - popcorn chicken
Tuesday - leftovers?
Wednesday - taco rice
Friday - Mongolian chicken
Saturday - Rib roast
Sunday - Easter dinner with extended family; pizza

Friday, March 22, 2013

Just checking in

I had such grand plans for this month of my non-stick skillet. I was going to photograph and post each delicious meal I prepared for my family. Fail.
I'm just here, checking in, reporting on our mission to eat in. We have eaten in most nights since my last post two weeks ago. I did leave work early last Friday to pick up my sickie daughter from school. When I texted my husband to let him know, he asked if we wanted Chick-fil-a for lunch. Uh, yeah!
On Wednesday I put some flank steak in the crockpot with some goodness to have tops vieja ready when we came home. I turned the crockpot on, but forgot to plug it in. We ended up at sonny's barbecue with a coupon. We had tops vieja on Thursday, and it was delish!
I have noticed this month that our spending has gone down in 3 areas:
1. The obvious - we have spent hundreds less since we are eating in.
2. Gas money. We have used no less than 25% less gas than in a typical month. That's a savings of about $50!
3. Shopping. When we were eating out so much, it was so easy to say, "Hey, let's stop by Walmart, target, publix, etc to pick up . . ."  It's so much easier not to shop when you're already comfy at home.
Overall, it is not an exaggeration at all to say that we have saved $500 this month alone. I'm amazed!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Month-in-the-life of my non-stick skillet: day 10

So I know nobody reads this blog anymore, but I'm posting for myself anyway. I have been on a mission this month to use my non-stick skillet frequently. This is part of another mission I'm on to reduce eating out and the spending that goes along with it. (I'm pleased to report that we have tremendously reduced the amount of times we eat out by this point in a month. PLUS, we have only eaten out when we could use a coupon or for a special deal - like kids eat free at Sonny's last weekend.) It has been a full 7 days since our last restaurant meal.
This eat-in mission is part of my ongoing attempt at being a cheapskate, but it is also part of  a deeply personal prayer request between me and God regarding building the character trait of contentment. It is a thrill to experience how God is working in my life in this area. He is fulfilling my needs and giving such peace in the area of contentment.
Anyhow, I am posting here occasionally, mostly as a way to keep myself accountable regarding eating out. It's funny how God is using this seemly small area of my life to teach how big He is. I posted Friday morning about how I had big plans for my skillet for dinner. By the time I finished work that day, the last thing I wanted to do was to cook. I prayed as I left school that my husband would ask if he could take us out to dinner. I also prayed that, if He didn't want us to eat out, he would give me peace and not bitterness. All the way home, I prayed that the hubs would ask where I wanted to eat out. I mentally sifted through the dining coupons we keep in the car. When we pulled into the driveway with no offer of a restaurant dinner, I thanked God for answering my prayer (even a  "no" is an answer) and got busy in the kitchen. I made dinner rolls from scratch to go along with the not sagna pasta toss I enjoy. (It's a rachael ray recipe found on
I used my skillet yesterday to heat some corned beef hash for brunch. (I used the reduced-fat kind, so I only feel medium-sized guilt about eating that.)
Today, I will use my non-stick skillet to make caldereta, a Filipino dish something like a spicy pork stew.
I am so thankful for the way The Lord is working in my life to give me contentment. He has changed me so much in just 10 days as I have given this area over to Him. So much so that, when my kids asked my husband if we could get drinks from Sonic and he allowed it, I didn't get one. Not out of stubborn resistance, but because I truly didn't desire one. Perhaps this seems like such a trivial matter. Thousands of people never get to eat out in a month's time, but this is real growth for me. Praise The Lord!

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Month In tr Life of My Non-stick Skillet: Days 4-7

As always, it's been a busy week. Here's how my skillet has helped me take care of my family:

Monday: chipotle pork tacos (
Tuesday: chili (I used the skillet to brown the ground beef before throwing it and the rest of the ingredients into the crockpot.
Wednesday: beef and bean burritos (I used the crockpot only.) I used my skillet to cook a single slice of bacon at breakfast!
Thursday: my husband was one of 30 people honored for 10 years of service with the ministry we are with. We were treated to a lovely and delicious dinner, and I didn't have to cook a bit.

I have big plans for my skillet this evening. A lovely Friday dinner coming up!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Month In The Life of My Non-stick Skillet: Day 3: Eggs and Potatoes

It's a BOGO breakfast!

Egg and Potato Mix-up Breakfast

I used:

2 tsp canola oil
1/2 bag frozen diced potatoes with peppers and onions
2 partial containers of Egg Beaters (about 1 1/2 c total)
4 oz smoked sausage, sliced

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Stir, then cook another 4 minutes. Add Egg Beaters and scramble until cooked through. 
Add smoked sausage and stir to combine. Allow the sausage to heat through. (I covered my skillet and turned the heat off.)
Optional: Add shredded cheddar. 

I purchased every ingredient at Publix, and they were all BOGO, except for the oil. After coupons, I estimate this meal costs less than $4 to feed my family of 5. The cheese, if I decide to add it, was purchased at Sam's Club. I did include the cost of the cheese in my estimation of the cost.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

64% Savings at Publix

Not pictured are 4 boxes of General Mills cereals. 

Almost everything was on sale, mostly bogo. 

Saved over $55 and spent just over $30. 

A Month in the Life of My Non-stick Skillet: Day 2: Breakfast Fried Rice

I have been wanting to try a month-in-the-life kind of motivation for myself for some time now. You know, a little extra push to cook instead of going out to eat in very non-cheapskate fashion. We did to out to dinner yesterday, which was payday for us, before we went grocery shopping. So today it behooves me to start this little self-imposed cook at home restriction. (Ugg, I REALLY enjoy eating out, and I already miss it!)
Today I made a fried rice dish for breakfast, and, like many of the meals I make, it was not especially healthy. It cost only around $3 for the whole recipe, though.

Breakfast Fried Rice

2 c uncooked rice
2 eggs
Soy sauce, to taste
4 slices bacon
Summer sausage, as much as you want

Cook rice according to package instructions. 
In a large non-stick skillet, cook 4 slices of bacon. Set the bacon aside, but don't drain the grease. 
When the rice is cooked (using leftover rice tastes even better.), add it to the skillet on medium heat. Stir so that the rice and grease are well incorporated. (Sickly unhealthy, isn't it? There's no butter, though, so you need that fat. It's called FRIED rice for a reason!) 
Make a hole in the center and add the two eggs. Scramble well. Mix eggs into the rice. Season with a bit of soy sauce. 
Crumble cooked bacon and add it to the mix. Cube summer sausage (I didn't measure mine; I just used what I had leftover in the fridge.) and add it to the pan. Stir well. 
Taste, then add soy sauce or pepper as needed. 
Optionally, finish with sesame seeds and/or green onions.  Of course, adding veggies is never a bad idea. 
Makes enough for the 5 of us, with a bit left over.